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Fillings are done to remove decay and replace the affected tooth structure. Called a filling because a new material fills the hole that decay left behind. These days, most teeth are treated with bonded tooth-colored composite resin fillings and caught early enough, these cavities can be treated easily and painlessly. However, if left untreated, decay can lead to tooth pain and infection, and the tooth would need a root canal treatment or extraction.
Most commonly performed after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. A full coverage restoration that's used to cover a tooth that is likely to break or is too damaged to be restored with a filling. The larger the hole made by a cavity that needs to be treated, the more likely a dental crown will be necessary. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body and teeth are subjected to a tremendous amount of pressure. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is far more serious and much more difficult to treat, and crowns prevent this as well as making for a beautiful smile! It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first visit, decay is removed from the tooth, and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits, the crown is being made (usually of high-strength porcelain over alloy or all ceramic material) a temporary crown is worn. At the second visit, this temporary is removed, and the permanent crown is adjusted as needed and cemented in place.
One of the options you have for filling the space created by a missing tooth. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically using the two healthy neighboring teeth for support, hence the name "bridge." Dental bridges are as much an art form as it is an exact science. There are various materials that can be used, but in our office, we use a metal-free, tooth-colored porcelain material that is strong. It is important that a missing tooth is replaced as soon as possible for several reasons: If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward, creating a whole chain reaction of bad things. Teeth use their neighbors for support, and with one missing, they start to shift. As this worsens, the bite changes in response to the pressure. This can eventually result in problems with the entire jaw, e.g. TMJ.
Battle Ground 360-666-0100
Brad Halleck, DDS | Town Dental